Sussex Trail Events have another new concept this week, their take on five in five marathons held at 6pm Monday through Friday.
Today is the start of a uk heatwave! Just in time for these marathons! It is still a sunny 22C/72F with a westerly breeze, but feels much warmer as it is so dry with low humidity at the moment.
Day one is using the Worthing Park Run route, starting at East Studios on the promenade, close to the Pier. We will then run West along the seafront Promenade, Passing the Lido until reaching 1.66 Mile by the Waterwise Playground. We then turn back again to the start and the checkpoint.
After the first leg Jay and the team give out wristbands for each complete leg. Once we have seven wristbands there is only one more out and back left to go...
A total of 28 runners have arrived, a fair few are attempting the five in five or three in three.
With just a minute to go until the 18:00 prompt start, Paul Sargent rocks up with his game face on and taking the lead up along the sun drenched seafront...
The route heads west along Worthing Prom and it is fairly busy with evening walkers, cyclists, dog walkers and children playing.
Everyone is making the most of the bright sunshine and warmer conditions.
The breeze is strong in this direction with the sun on my face. I try to stay at a steady 7:30/7:15 average mile/pace and hope to maintain this the best I can and try to run on feel as it is so warm still.
Once reaching the marshal at the turnaround point, it suddenly feels very warm without the breeze!
Returning at the HQ checkpoint we take a wrist band for each out and back run, so we all know once at seven wristbands it is only one more left to go!
I have some gulps of water/coconut water mix and head on back the way I came...
I am dripping in sweat already and felt much warmer running back to the HQ.
After a couple of out/back legs you can get an idea of who to spot and how quickly. I see Paul at roughly the same point on each return section and Nuala too. I exchange either a wave, thumbs up or 'well done' greeting as I pass the other runners.
Just after halfway and running at a good pace still, I change my hat and buff over for dry ones and take a salt capsule as I am sweating so much now!
By the fifth leg I am really ready for this to finish now and find it a struggle in my legs. I have to play the passing game to myself and keep my thoughts amused with the slowly decending sun and the activity along the seafront....
There is even a Mojito stand near the Pier which just looks so tempting right now!
Soon enough it is finally the last leg and I clap for Paul as he passes me to head to the finish.
I manage to quicken my pace only just and keep it up for the last 1.66 mile in time for sunset.
I reach the finish a hot and sticky mess, in 2nd Place and in a time of 3hr 18min.
MARATHON MADNESS DAY FIVE
I collect my number from Jay and catch up with John, who is here to support and catch the start.
Nuala is running again tonight, 3in3 for her. Just the two for me this year.
Jay gets everyone (all 26 runners) to linger by the orange marker on the floor, as this will be the switch back before the checkpoint. Then with a check of his watch he shouts the go ahead to start!
I stay to the right hand side of the cycle path and run without thinking of my pace right now. Soon enough Paul Sargeant catches up this time rather than speeding off in the lead. He is on Marathon five and he has suffered this week with the heat and stomach issues.
We chat for a few minutes before he accelerates into the lead.
Tonight, just like Monday has a strong breeze but in a North East direction. So the return leg is the cooler section for us all.
Although Lancing has less activity to Worthing along the seafront, it still has enough to see and people watch this evening. Supporters are dotted along the green and even those chilling for drinks in beach huts and at the cafe are good cheering fans!
I find I fatique rather quickly tonight, more so than Monday! I managed to sleep most the day after my two nightshifts but feel it is not quite ideal conditions, as I am not completed rested yet and feel jet lagged.
The chap in the lead passes me at roughly the same area on each returning leg and we exchange thumbs up as we pass.
I wave to Nuala at each pass and then see running friend Max has started running, although looks like she was late for the 6pm start.
I start to overheat and feel so tired in my legs I have to slow my pace down. The flat asphalt is taking a toll and with no shade at all along this seafront it is a real struggle.
I am so grateful for a free ice lolly at the HQ. The ice cream hut has shut and has left overs for the runners!
I enjoy the ice cold sweet taste and a walking break to savour it before it melts and drips everywhere.
I pick up my pace to a jog then a run, but this time it is a slower average of 8:30min/mile, but my legs will not guide me any faster...
I take a salt capsule and some jelly babies fior the last leg. It is tough but I manage to pull through with what I have left and before I really start to feel sick from all the sun and heat.
It is good to see the HQ for the last time just ahead, as I really am getting light headed like the signs of heatstroke.
I know this was much tougher for me than than Monday as my flow and rhythm felt sloppy, with a slower finish than I had planned.
I reach the finish.... finally, and again in 2nd Place in 3hr 23min this evening...
I would like to thank Sussex Trail Events and everyone involved, supporting and marshalling for an enjoyable few marathons that really did test my mental stability, as road has really never been my passion or area of expertise at races.
I will certainly consider next year but perhaps the 3in3 so to experience the off road marathon on the Wednesday to give some variation!
Next one is in July for the Lunatic along the River Adur